My friend and fellow NOLA blogger Clay has a fine post up about the report on the BP Oil Spill at his blog NOLA-dishu He's an engineer and was one of my guides to the disaster last year.
Thanks for reading this shit so we don't have to, Clay.
My friend and fellow NOLA blogger Clay has a fine post up about the report on the BP Oil Spill at his blog NOLA-dishu He's an engineer and was one of my guides to the disaster last year.
Thanks for reading this shit so we don't have to, Clay.
It has been one year since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 workers. That, in turn, led to the 87 day oiltastrophe in the Gulf Of Mexico. The marshes in South Louisiana remain oliy, BP has played rope-a-dope with the seafood industry, many claims remain unpaid and Gret Stet politicians remain in the pocket of big oil. End of thumbnail sketch.
Here's a story from WWL-TV's Bill Capo on what he found during a trip to the marshes. Here's a hint: it starts with O:
As to the critter population, HBO is airing a documentary tonight at 8pm central on the Pelican rescue efforts. This is, of course, of particular interest to the First Draft community since we raised money to help with the avian cleanup. As always, y'all rock. Here's the trailer:
Another day, another dilatory post as I started this one a week. Okay, enough inside bloggerdom.
The erstwile Governor of the Gret Stet of Louisiana has published a book. It has given him another excuse to travel to places such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I can't imagine why, he said batting his eyelashes like an ingenue. I'm pretty sure that PBJ speed dictated the book because the man talks a mile a minute. It's a good way to camouflage the fact that he's got nothing interesting or original to say.
I, of course, have no intention of putting a pfenning into Jindal's pocket so I'm replying on the Picayune's Stephanie Grace to fill us in:
Don't read Gov. Bobby Jindal's new book, "Leadership and Crisis," for the writing.
Jindal's style is, to be blunt, unsophisticated. When he wants to emphasize a point, his fallback position is to simply put it in italics, a technique more suited to a direct mail appeal than a work of literature. The result is numerous passages like this: "We waited. And waited."
Don't read it for a serious exploration of policy. With few exceptions, Jindal sticks close to well-trod Republican talking points on limited government, freedom and the like. "We don't need so many czars in the White House!" he exclaims at one point.
And don't read the book to glean insight into Louisiana's political scene. Major episodes from Jindal's tenure earn only glancing mention. Even when he delves into a topic like ethics, he skips over major controversies such as the fight over whether his own official records should be public.
If you're looking for a reason to pick it up, the best one is that it offers a window into what Jindal thinks he needs to say, who he thinks he needs to be, to position himself for the future in national politics that, despite his protestations, he obviously wants.
One of the book's main themes is that, despite his exceptional résumé, Jindal's got regular guy bona fides. The picture gallery includes a shot of Jindal in hunting gear, another of him and the entire Brees family right after the Super Bowl. That's one of several attempts to grab a little of the Saints' reflected glory. There's also a jacket blurb by Sean Payton and a chapter titled "Who Dat," which actually is about Jindal, not the team.
The autobiographical sections paint Jindal as a proud, and proudly unhyphenated, son of the Deep South conservative heartland, whose Indian heritage never made him feel different. "I don't much care what people call me, but I don't like when people ask me where I'm 'really' from," he writes. "I'm from Baton Rouge by God Louisiana. I am an American. Period."
One of the things that bothers me the most about Jindal (along with the Eddie Haskell factor) is his rejection of his ethnic identity. Jindal's father Amar is such a fanatical assimilationist that he essentially dropped his family in India. This isn't how the Indian-Americans I know treat their families back home: they help them financially and often bring them to America. That's not how my Greek immigrant family treated their own either so I've always been appalled by this. Of course, that's a sin of the father but the son is a douchebag as well.
According to Stephanie, most of the policy bits in PBJ's book are winger platitudes: Obama bad, deficit bad unless it's for tax cuts, which are always good. Yawn. PBJ is one of the dullest pols I've ever seen. He was able to con Louisiana's voters into electing him by claiming that he's a super smart problem solving technocrat. Instead, John McCain's flirtation with putting Jindal on the ticket has swollen his head and he's spent much of the time since imagining that some day Hail To The Chief will be played whenever he enters a room.
Even the disastrous response to Obama's first state of the union speech, didn't cool PBJ's Potomac Fever, it just went into remission. The BP Oiltastrophe gave Jindal a chance to ride around in a boat with the national press and bash the Obama administration. The little engine that is his ambition got revved up again although I'm not sure if his incoherent oil spill bad/drilling good message will play as well in Iowa as it does in the Gulf South. I'm sure he'll take the Ethanol pledge if he ever runs in Iowa. I think, however, that PBJ is aiming at the second slot on the GOP ticket in 2012. Romney-Jindal is a definite possibility. The Mittster would regard PBJ as a fine pander to the teabaggers and wingnuts and we all know how much Mitt loves to pander...
The bad news for Jindal is that Louisiana voters have started to notice that he doesn't give a rat's ass about the state of the Gret Stet. PBJ refuses to raise taxes or fees, which could make things more interesting next year in the unlikely event that the Louisiana Dems get their shit together. The latest statewide poll shows that PBJ's approval rating is down 13 points to 55% and his negatives have risen to 43%. He keeps claiming that this is the job he wants so it's time for him to put up or shut the fuck up.
Thus spake (according to legend at least) Longite NOLA Mayor Robert Maestri to FDR when the two were dining on oysters at Antoine's. The quote varies-sometimes it ends with Mr. President or Chief-which is why I'm not 100% sure it's true. But if it isn't, it should be.
This post, however, isn't about malaprops or politics, it's about dem ersters. The Sunday Picayune ran a fine front pager by Brett Anderson on the ongoing problems faced by a family owned and operated oyster processing and distribution company in NOLA, P&J Oyster Co. The BP oil spill and the response to it continue to bite people in the ass. Here are the first few graphs:
In mid-September, Al Sunseri set two raw oysters on a table next to the coffeemaker in the offices of P&J Oyster Co. The specimens were not up to his standards, but P&J, which Sunseri runs with his brother Sal, was selling them anyway. The company had no other choice.
"You see?" Al said after feeding the oysters to a visitor. "They got a good oyster flavor. They just don't have any salt. And they're small."
Al blames these deficiencies on the fresh Mississippi River water diverted to protect Louisiana's delicate coastal marshlands from the oil that poured into the Gulf of Mexico from the ruptured Macondo well for most of the summer. Still, "they're decent oysters," he said. "People want to buy them."
P&J has dealt in oysters for nearly 135 years, making it the oldest oyster processor and distributor in the United States. The disaster triggered by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20 brought that tradition to a virtual standstill. On June 10, the Sunseris, having conceded their regular suppliers could no longer provide them with the volume and quality of oysters necessary to operate their business, ceased regular operations at P&J. They laid off 13 full-time employees.
The whole piece is worth a read: Brett Anderson is the Picayune's stellar food critic/reporter. He knows from good food. Anyway, shrimp and crab seem to be plentiful but we miss our salty and briny Louisiana oysters. You *can* find them but many restaurants are serving ersters from elsewhere because they have no choice. I guess we should all pray to Poseidon or Neptune to bring our oyster beds back.
I haven't said this for awhile but here it goes: Fuck you, BP and the trail of despair you left in your wake. There, that felt good.
God knows BP hasn't had many victories lately.
Sure, they capped the well and all but, while it could hardly be called an afterthought, it certainly belonged in "more of a whimper than a bang" category. Much as they wanted to savor the triumph, BP didn't want anyone to really dwell on that whole awkward IT TOOK US FIVE MONTHS part of the story.
So maybe this is one last attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of death that the British are so well known for. Personally, I'm willing to give it to them because goddamn it, I think they've earned it this time. So, Stephen Fry's rather historic assertion aside, I think we can all agree that the British have at long last won the Irony War.
And kudos to BP for being the ones to bring the trophy back home with what looks to be a longplaying show, revolving around a elegantly simple yet reliably absurd theme:
With respect to the giant clusterfucking disaster they've created, BP would very much like us all to kindly bury our heads in the sand. And god knows plenty of us would like to at this point. But...wait for it....
Dig in the sand, that is.Well played, BP, well played. (h/t to Patrick for the video)
The Macondo oil gusher has finally been sealed but BP continues to play mind/word games with all concerned. The Picayune's Bob Marshall published a surreal account of a conversation with a BP flack about the oil that is still fouling the waters and marshes in these parts:
For a while Tuesday, I felt like I was caught in the old Abbott and Costello routine “Who’s on first?”
Whether the oil that washed ashore this week is ‘new,’ meaning never-before seen, or ‘old’ oil recycled by the ecosystem, it will probably be showing up for at least a year.
Only this one would be titled “When is new oil old again?”
The guy from BP had called to sternly object to the note I ran in Sept. 11′s newspaper under the headline “More oil comes ashore.” The lead sentence read, “A new wave of black oil came ashore west of the Mississippi River on Friday and Saturday, coating beaches and fouling interior marshes, according to anglers’ reports.” The item went on to report new oil in Bay Jimmie, Bay Wilkerson and Bay Baptiste.
I quoted charter skipper Ryan Lambert and Sidney Bourgeois, manager of Joe’s Landing marina in Lafitte, as the sources of the reports. I also checked their reports against the state’s official daily press release on oil sightings, and found the same incidents.
However, that small story apparently created a big buzz with the officials involved in BP’s response efforts. It all came down to the word “new.”
I was driving at the time and pulled over to take the call from a BP rep. The conversation went something like this:
BP man: “There is no new oil coming ashore. There hasn’t been any for weeks. There is none out there. Whoever told you that was wrong.”
Me: “Well, Ryan Lambert is out there every day. He saw no oil on those beaches for weeks, then on Friday he saw new oil.”
BP man: “That wasn’t new oil. It might have been old that reappeared, but it wasn’t new oil.”
Me: “It was new to Ryan, because he had never seen it before. He said it was new. He said it was new and black.”
BP man: “He was wrong because there is no new oil.”
Me: “So if I see oil for the first time in a place where there has been no oil, that isn’t new oil?”
BP man: “Almost certainly not. It’s old oil that has reappeared.”
Me: “Do the fish, birds, crabs, shrimp and benthic organisms realize this is old oil?”
BP man: “That’s not the point.”
But it was the point at which I had to continue toward my next appointment. We agreed to semantic differences, but the conversation only raised more questions in my inquiring mind — some of which I found the answers to during the next few days.
Is there still new oil — “new” being oil that has yet to reach land — still out in the Gulf of Mexico, even if the well has been closed for two months?
Yes. According to recently released research, oil from the Deepwater Horizon has settled to the bottom of the Gulf in several places. If this eventually floats to land, it would be new oil.
Yeah, yeah, posting out of turn and all but it's Friday, plus Athenae said I could do some extra RT5-related posting. Pretty sure she meant during, rather than after, the event but hey, in New Orleans, the party never really ends.
Credit/blame to racymind for the song. It was on her ipod, we did pass by Hammond, it became part of the trip soundtrack. But it does work here, too, because it's a song — a story really — about families, mostly about choice, about what and who you choose to stand for and with. About how sometimes what might seem a choice to someone else is, to you, an imperative. Crystalline, unavoidable despite the odds of success or failure.
It works because this is actually a post about Rising Tide 5, at least a highly subjective take thereon, and all those things are part of what RT is about. A community of like-minded citizen journalists choosing to continue to stand together, not because they can't stop looking backwards, or because they can't get over something that happened five years ago, but rather because they see the truth. In fact, they cannot help but do so: a lot of shit that started five years ago is still happening, is happening again, over and over, and more continues to start new every day. Mac McClelland pretty much nailed it in her keynote. If you STILL haven't seen the video, just go, do it now.
It was an awfully damn inspiring event to take part in. I'll be there next year for sure. Don't have a choice not to.
If you have a bit of spare time to watch it, Mac's keynote was both entertaining and informative. My favorite bit was when she called Governor PBJ "a fucking douchebag." Mac definitely had her Mother Jones as well as her Mojo working or are they the same thing?
Mac was introduced by her Bloody Mary tech and NOLA blogger, Jeffrey Bostick:
So there was a mix-up at the International Bird Rescue Research Center, and our pelicans couldn't be found. Turned out they had holed up in the back of the pelican pen and were discussing the world's affairs over merlot and M&Ms, hitting F5 on the crack van and one of them might or might not have started a dice game with some finches. When asked about it, he muttered something about "punch3 kitten chainsaw" and flapped off. Kids today.
In any case, the birds we adopted as a blog, way back in the early days of the BP Oil Spill, were located, tagged, and we have now been presented with evidence they exist:
All our pelicans are here: LaDonna, Ashley, UncleSamRocks, FYYFF and Albert Lambreaux. And we even have pictures of the cute little buggers:
FYYFF looks just like his namesake.
Well done, everyone.
One of my favorite NOLA bloggers, Pistolette, has written a terrific post that's, in part, about growing up in St. Bernard Parish. It was inspired by Picayune man Bob Marshall's equally terrific series about Delacroix, a small town in da Parish that seems to be on its last legs.
Links and jokes about Brett Favre's member are all got for you so far today. These stories are both more uplifting but, then again, maybe not...
WASHINGTON — The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.
A government report finds that about 26 percent of the oil released from BP’s runaway well is still in the water or onshore in a form that could, in principle, cause new problems. But most is light sheen at the ocean surface or in a dispersed form below the surface, and federal scientists believe that it is breaking down rapidly in both places.
It seems there's a chance, in principle, that we might not see any new, additional harm. Oh, and then there's this other stuff. You know, about the old, already-happened harm, the questions left unanswered, which is pretty much all of them.
She emphasized, however, that the government remained concerned about the ecological damage that has already occurred and the potential for more, and said it would continue monitoring the gulf. “I think we don’t know yet the full impact of this spill on the ecosystem or the people of the gulf,” Dr. Lubchenco said. Among the biggest unanswered questions, she said, is how much damage the oil has done to the eggs and larvae of organisms like fish, crabs and shrimp. That may not become clear for a year or longer, as new generations of those creatures come to maturity. Thousands of birds and other animals are known to have been damaged or killed by the spill, a relatively modest toll given the scale of some other oil disasters that killed millions of animals. Efforts are still under way in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to clean up more than 600 miles of oiled shoreline. The government and BP collected 35,818 tons of oily debris from shorelines through Sunday. It remains to be seen whether subtle, long-lasting environmental damage from the spill will be found, as has been the case after other large oil spills. So, let's recap, shall we?
She emphasized, however, that the government remained concerned about the ecological damage that has already occurred and the potential for more, and said it would continue monitoring the gulf.
“I think we don’t know yet the full impact of this spill on the ecosystem or the people of the gulf,” Dr. Lubchenco said.
Among the biggest unanswered questions, she said, is how much damage the oil has done to the eggs and larvae of organisms like fish, crabs and shrimp. That may not become clear for a year or longer, as new generations of those creatures come to maturity.
Thousands of birds and other animals are known to have been damaged or killed by the spill, a relatively modest toll given the scale of some other oil disasters that killed millions of animals. Efforts are still under way in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to clean up more than 600 miles of oiled shoreline. The government and BP collected 35,818 tons of oily debris from shorelines through Sunday.
It remains to be seen whether subtle, long-lasting environmental damage from the spill will be found, as has been the case after other large oil spills.
So, let's recap, shall we?
As a resident of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, I've been appalled by the way so many local media outlets have been acting as cheerleaders for Governor PBJ, the Parish Presidents and the oil industry. Today, Picayune outdoors editor Bob Marshall throws a well placed rock at Bobby's beloved rock jetties:
At a press conference supporting his wish to narrow Gulf passes with rock jetties in an attempt to keep oil out of interior marshes, Gov. Bobby Jindal said this: "No one can convince us that rocks in the water are more dangerous than oil. That is absolutely ridiculous. The only people who believe that are the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., who can't see the oil, smell the oil or touch the oil."
That's not even close to the truth, as Gov. Jindal surely knew. But I'm not surprised.
That misinformation is in keeping with the governor's response to this disaster, which has often been a mixture of diversion, fur coat attitude and panic -- all of which is doing terrible long-term damage to our chances of survival on this starving delta.
Let's start with that claim about the rocks.
The governor knows full well that since the day the rock idea was broached by Jefferson Parish politicians, the foremost authorities on Louisiana's coastal ecosystem have come out against it. These are not Washington bureaucrats. They are men and women who have long lived and worked in coastal Louisiana; many of them are natives. They have spent their lives becoming expert on how the system functions, why it has been crumbling and what must be done to save what is left.
Of course, Marshall's piece was published under the rubric of "other opinions" since it doesn't toe the Picayune line but I'm pleased that the paper ran the piece at all. It's a relief after months of Jindalista propaganda that they actually allowed someone to throw some stones at PBJ's misguided and idiotic plans. Louisiana has some of the top coastal scientists in the world and they're united in denouncing the rock jetties as likely to make things worse.
I'm well aware that the GOP isn't known for listening to scientists: it's the flat earth and creationism party, after all. As for Governor PBJ, he's too busy holding press conferences to listen to anyone other than the wingnuts and sycophants who keep whispering in his ear: "This can make you President." It's unclear how this is playing outside the spill zone but some people actually believe in science. Imagine that.
I've been worried that I haven't been swearing enough in my posts. We're obviously falling behind on our fuck quota for the year. So, I decided to link to this faintly amusing site with a fucking good name. I'm not planning to buy any of their kitsch but it may be for a good fucking cause. Fuckin' A or is that unfuckin' A?
Finally, exactly how does one go about unfucking something? Beats the hell outta me. Guess I'll leave that to the philosophers among you.
He may be on his way out as BP's CEO but Wayward Hayward's foot and mouth have been reunited in comments made to the British press:
BP formally confirmed today that it had axed its boss Tony Hayward in an attempt to appease mounting anger in the US but risked undermining the move by insisting it had been a "model of corporate social responsibility".
In further comments unlikely to go down well in Washington, Hayward said he had been "demonised" in the US, adding that he might be "too busy" to attend future US hearings into the disastrous Gulf oil spill.
Explaining his decision to leave the group he has led for three-and-a-half years, Hayward said: "I believe this tragedy will leave BP a different company. I believe for it to move on in the United States it needs new leadership and it is for that reason I have stood down as the CEO. I think BP's response to this tragedy has been a model of good social corporate responsibility. It has mounted an unprecedented response."
Gee, Tony, I thought the idea of your stepping down was to change the perception of BP in the US and A, which means that you should STFU. It's all cosmetic anyway as Stephanie Grace pointed out in her column in today's Picayune:
Hayward's behavior since the spill has cast him as public enemy No. 1, but, ironically, it's also made him an ideal fall guy for his troubled company. As such, his inevitable departure is meant to turn the page, to wipe BP's slate at least somewhat clean.
Here's the problem with that scenario: Hayward wasn't hired to have all the answers or to come off as a nice, sympathetic guy. His charge when he took the job three years ago was to change the corporate culture, to focus "like a laser" on making BP's operations safe.
On that all-important mission, Hayward failed spectacularly, and we'll all be grappling with the consequences long after he exists the scene.
BP appears to be convinced that it can PR its way out of this mess. I hope they're wrong but people's memories are short so eventually we'll get back to the really vital stories like the barracking amongst pols about Jersey Shore. I've never seen the show myself: one trashy show about Jerseyites is more than enough for me:
In the wake of Shirley Sherrod's craven Vilsacking, I searched the interwebs for good news this morning and astonishinglly enough found some. The Guardian is reporting that "sources close to BP" are saying that Wayward Hayward will be out as CEO by October 1.
Actually, they quote the Times of Murdoch but I refuse to pay Rupert a shilling to read his site. Call me crazy but I'm not into subsidizing multi-billionaire media tycoons...
The human impact of the BP oiltastrophe has been playing out this week in front of the Presidential Commission investigating this seemingly endless clusterfuck. Drew Landry, a South Louisiana crawfisherman, testified in part by singing a tune that he wrote about the human costs of the spill. He sounded a bit like Steve Earle, which is a good thing in my book. If he adds a nice bridge to the song he could have a hit on his hands. Mr. Landry himself was a big hit with the commissioners because of his candor and down home charm.
I'm not sure whether or not the post title is entirely accurate but at least for one day Drew Landry was a hero. Besides, anyone who gives me a John Lennon earworm is all right;
UK Metro has unearthed a circa 1960's board game: BR Offshore Oil Strike. I am not shitting you. What I've heard about the game itself is seriously creepy since it foreshadows the current oiltastrophe in the Gulf.
Who hell wants to play a game sponsored by a multi-fucking national oil company? Not me. I was never even that into Monopoly when I was a wee lad in knee pants or whatever the hell it was we wore back then. I preferred Risk, which means that world conquest was more up my alley. I was a ruthless Risk player and always tried to control the Asian provinces of the then Soviet Union as well as Turkey. I never fooled with Afghanistan; even a little kid knows that nobody will ever rule that unruly land. The great game threw snake eyes a long time ago.
NOLA's fine alternative weekly, the Gambit has been on a roll of late. (Hmm, what kind of roll: lobster? egg? spring? Definitely not the latter.) Their latest cover features James Carville looking like an insect toon complete with steam coming out of his ears:Photo by Cheryl Gerber. Cover design by Dora Sison.
Well done, y'all. It's actually rather lifelike. I had steam coming out of my ears yesterday as well and felt like a character out of a Roger Corman flick...
These are strange times in South Louisiana. Both the national and local press are treating some of our local hack conservative pols as though they're heroic because of the oil spill. I suppose one could call it ennoblement through victimhood. One of my least favorite local leaders is St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro who First Draft readers first met when he was making like Jesus and watching the feet of guvmint employees. Taffaro was also one of the original malakas featured at my own humble blog abode. During a photo-op yesterday, he denounced federal officials for only showing up for photo-ops. He should have looked to his left and noticed Governor PBJ whose approach to the crisis has been to pose, posture and preen for the camera crews he invites to follow him around. They call it leadership, I call it malakatude.
Anyway, here's Craig Taffaro who's probably upset that Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is getting all the pub so he did a bit of emoting for the cameras:
I know this sounds harsh given the circumstances but I knew these bozos before the oiltastrophe and they were partisan Gooper hacks then and that has not changed. Guys like Taffaro and PBJ are contorting and twisting logic in ways that even a master pretzel maker would find difficult. (Perhaps yoga would be a better analogy: Taffaro could easily be described as a downward facing dog.) They want the spill stopped and investigated but drilling to continue and the deeper the better. They want the Feds to "lead or get out of the way" but they want federal money and logistical support. Additionally, their own spill preparations were woefully inadequate. The Jindal administration no more had a plan to deal with this disaster than BP or the Feds but PBJ knows how to pander. And he knows from Pretzel Logic:
I'm not sure if I should be using the singular or the plural version of malaka but the Huff Post has hit a new low. The offending, as well as offensive, post belongs in a super market tabloid devoted to tales of Big Foot and space aliens. I have never been a fan of the Huff Post and cannot stand Ariana Huffington who is an arrogant, trendhopping opportunist. One of my earliest posts at First Draft was entitled Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden, which is my friend Kevin Allman's pet name for his bete noir.
Enough set-up. The reason this week's "honor" goes to the Huff Post is that they published a specious, speculative and downright untrue story Raining Oil In Louisiana? They tried to cover their asses via punctuation and by posting a survey at the bottom of the post asking readers if they believed the story and the following video:
My fellow NOLA blogger Dambala was in suburban River Ridge when the alleged oily rain came down there. There was no fucking oil but the hills are alive with the sound of malakatude courtesy of Satan's Botoxed Handmaiden and her underhanded underlings.
One last piece of evidence in support of the utter malakatude of the Huff Post. Their video source likes to post his extreme teabaggerish views online. Again, this is via Dambala:
A whooping crane in the wild is an astounding sight. If you're lucky to be close enough to view one without binoculars, the first thing that strikes you is the size. An adult whooper stands 5 feet tall and has a wing span of 7.5 feet, blindingly white body plumage, black wingtips, a striking red and black mask, and large dark beak. They are magnificent animals and getting to watch them in their winter habitat at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, near where I grew up, made an indelible impression on me as a kid. Without a doubt, that's one of the reasons I became a naturalist. It made a difference in how I saw the world, to see these birds, knowing there were literally just a handful left on the planet, that an animal so majestic and large (bigger than me at the time) was so vulnerable, that we humans had been so careless with such a treasure.
The population has grown since then and the establishment of a second flock and eastern migration led by ultra-light aircraft is a monumental success story in wildlife management. Still though, as of January this year, there were only 398 birds alive in the wild,150 in captive breeding programs. Less than 600 on the planet.
Of those in the wild, most will winter at Aransas, and the others in Florida. That will be in October.
Four months, with a hurricane season between then and now. Where will the oil be then? What will happen between then and now to the brackish marshes and estuaries this species is dependent on for survival? Last year, the drought in central Texas so impacted the flow of the Guadalupe River that the salinity of San Antonio Bay increased, and 23 Aransas whoopers died of malnutrition from the lack of blue crabs, wolfberries and fresh water. That's how delicate their supporting ecosystem is already, without BP's oil destroying it. The situation in Florida is even more dire, threatening to destroy two decades of work toward establishing the eastern migratory flyway between Florida and Wisconsin.
Ever since the first instant I heard about the Deepwater Horizon blowout, I have had a couple of recurring thoughts that won't go away. First, selfishly, I am truly grateful that my father is dead and can't see what's happened to the Gulf, his real home as well as his workplace. (He ate and slept at the house, sure, but he couldn't wait to get back out on the water every day.)
Second, and more urgently, what will happen to the whooping cranes? What happens to us if we let them be destroyed?
Spirit Airlines -- they of the multi-year labor dispute and the charge for carry-on bags -- would like to encourage you to buy tickets to Cancun, Puerto Rico, Atlantic City or Fort Lauderdale with a timely new ad campaign called Best Protection. The tag line? "Check out the oil on our beaches."
You know, seriously, I am coming around to Doc's refrain that shit only matters when it happens to New York or DC, because as much as wingnuts love to hate on these places ten seconds after a terrorist attack there, I've never seen such a goddamn disconnect between ... I mean, UNITED AIRLINES is run entirely by gaping assholes and even their post-9/11 ad campaign was respectful and kind of sweet. There's a way to be a human in here.
And then along come these fuckholes, and who seriously thinks this is okay? I mean, a bunch of people are sitting around a room, looking over an ad campaign, and not one person has a cousin or a friend or even a warm memory of a summer vacation spent in Gulf Shores, Alabama? (Lovely little restaurant there, boardwalky-type thing, first time I ever ate real fresh crabmeat.) Nobody says, "Guys, erm." Nobody?
We've all heard of a boy called sue but the man we love to hate, Tony Hayward, has a yacht named Bob. Hmm, I wonder if it's a nickname for Robert or even Robin? Tony is sort of a reverse Robin Hood, after all...
Bob and Tony have been reunited this weekend for a race at the Isle of Wight. Glad Tony finally got his life back...
Winger Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologized to BP this morning for the "shakedown" aka the compensation escrow account. The GOP leadership is shitting itself, Barton has apologized for the apology and Robert Gibbs jumped down Barton's throat and punched his tonsils. Fun times in our nation's capital:
Watch/listen on C-Span 3, unless they shunt it over to the mothership for, you know, America.
Posts in the van belong to their posters. First Draft is not responsible for any possessions left behind in the van after the ride has stopped. Pet the ferrets and maybe they'll let you live.
Update: Van closed. Thank you all for yelling at Hayward, Barton, Blackburn and the other morons with me.
My house member, the accidental Congressman Joseph Cao clearly understands that he won't be re-elected. The vultures are circling, ready to feast on the carrion of his brief political ascent: the NOLA Democratic establishment seems to be coalescing around a candidate, State Rep Cedric Richmond. Richmond ran in 2008 but didn't make the run-off wherein he would have kicked then Congressman Dollar Bill Jefferson's ass. Instead through a bizarre set of circumstances, we ended up with Mr. Cao in one of the bluest districts in the South. Hell, even in the country: Democratic Presidential nominees usually get 70% plus of the vote in New Orleans. The Gret Stet may have gone from purple to red but Debrisville is true blue.
There's obviously something liberating about knowing you're going to lose: it allows you to say whatever the hell you want. Mr. Cao has never been known to say outrageous things until yesterday. Bashing BP is now routine for Louisiana pols but nobody has suggested ritual samurai suicide before Mr. Cao. It's also a bizarre suggestion since Little Joe is Vietnamese but, hey, it got him on teevee so it's all good. At least he recognizes a real pho:
Rep. Charlie Melancon, whose chances at taking BP abettor and Pampers enthusiast David Vitter's seat have increased exponentially, said yesterday, "I don't care if it's a dictator, a king, a democracy, I can't imagine [another country] allowing any oil company to go out and do wily-nilly what was done in the Gulf of Mexico and is being done to the United States and this state." And, in a line that should be the retort to any member of Congress who says a raised or eliminated liability cap will drive small oil companies out of the deep water drilling business, Melancon said, "If you can't afford to play in the deep water, you shouldn't be out there."
It's slash and burn time, man. Take 'em down. Like Haley Barbour, Mississippi's governor who has said media coverage is scaring away the tourists while his state's beaches remain mostly oil-free? Tell 'em to eat some fish from Waveland. Or maybe he thinks the kids'll have fun chasing the greased pelicans in Biloxi.
As the clean up continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need. Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise. I saw and heard evidence of that during this trip. So if something isn't working, we want to hear about it. If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them.
But we have to recognize that despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. And sadly, no matter how effective our response becomes, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done. That's why the second thing we're focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.
You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy. I've talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don't know how they're going to support their families this year. I've seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers - even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected. I've talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists will start to come back. The sadness and anger they feel is not just about the money they've lost. It's about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost.
I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.
Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short-term, it's also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that has already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats. And the region still hasn't recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That's why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.
I make that commitment tonight. Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region.
Well, now that he's smited BP from the Sacred Oval Office Chair or something, the noise machine's carping about his temperament or his temperature or whatever the fuck they're on about can stop. It'll stop, right, and we'll go back to focusing on if he's doing his job right, as opposed to doing it in the right color tie?
I know it comes as no surprise to First Drafters (ites?) but Rachel Maddow has done some of the best teevee reporting on the oiltastastrophe. This segment, I Am The Walrus, is particularly good as she dishes BP and uses a big old map of the US and A to show where oil dun spilled in recent years. Dun spilled? Uh oh, I seem to be channeling Plaquemines Parish President and current media love object Billy Nungesser:
Recent Democratic Presidents have appointed Western politicians to be Interior Secretary. It worked out quite well with Stewart Udall, Cecil Andrus and Bruce Babbitt. Barack Obama followed the same pattern when he selected then Colorado Senator Ken Salazar. It hasn't worked out that well. Why? The aforementioned Western pols were all conservationists whereas Salazar dances to the beat of a different drummer. I was unaware of that until I read Tim Dickinson's recent article in Rolling Stone. Here's the money quote about Mr. Salazar:
Salazar did little to tamp down on the lawlessness at MMS, beyond referring a few employees for criminal prosecution and ending a Bush-era program that allowed oil companies to make their "royalty" payments – the amount they owe taxpayers for extracting a scarce public resource – not in cash but in crude. And instead of putting the brakes on new offshore drilling, Salazar immediately throttled it up to record levels. Even though he had scrapped the Bush plan, Salazar put 53 million offshore acres up for lease in the Gulf in his first year alone – an all-time high. The aggressive leasing came as no surprise, given Salazar's track record. "This guy has a long, long history of promoting offshore oil drilling – that's his thing," says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "He's got a highly specific soft spot for offshore oil drilling." As a senator, Salazar not only steered passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which opened 8 million acres in the Gulf to drilling, he even criticized President Bush for not forcing oil companies to develop existing leases faster.
I think Salazar's bald head should roll but if it doesn't, radical surgery is required at Interior. I'm certain that MMS isn't the only agency that's been wrecked by the Bush administration's deregulatory fervor/fever. It constantly amazes me that post-Reagan wingers have taken the conserve out of conservative but they have. Note that I used amaze: nothing they do shocks me and they always have a fancy ideological rationale for every depredation. The Obama administration needs to do better and my fingers are crossed that they will BUT it's unfortunate (to say the least) that it took the BP oiltastrophe to get them to do the right thing.
God, Mom, I'm bored. There's nothing to dooooooooooooo:
Coverage of the BP oil spill has certainly reached marathon status, the kind of thing still likely to lead on the evening newscasts -- so likely that the networks risk evoking "oh not that again" reactions from viewers. It's an unhappy fact of TV news life: the bigger the story's significance, the longer it rules the newscasts -- and the greater the danger the public will tune out.
One of the unkinder peripheral ironies of a calamity like this one: The longer it goes on, the more likely public outrage will turn to jejune ennui -- what infuriated people when they first learned of it has devolved into a pesky inconvenience; of course, this is only true of those experiencing it vicariously -- even if on high-def TV.
People who experience it that way, which is not really experiencing it at all, might stop seeing it as a menace to the environment and begin to view it as -- mad though it sounds -- an impertinence that disrupts their escapist TV-viewing. As such reaction escalates, blame shifts from the company that should have prevented the spill to the media companies whose employees dutifully report on its virulent persistence.
Shales goes on to blame the coverage of Obama's emotional temperature or whatever on the terribly important need to keep viewers from getting bored by the boring story that is boring about all the boring people and animals and fish that are dying because of the horrendous fuckups made by British Petroleum, which is British and therefore double-boring.
And OH MY GOD does this make me crazy. I hate this dodge, like, the press is all-powerful and all-knowing and sets standards for our national conversation, except when it's totally powerless and at the whims of the ADD American public, who will stop watching after X number of days. In an amazing coincidence, that attention span lasts EXACTLY until the moment coverage becomes inconvenient and/or expensive. It's so funny how that always works. You're always able to pick a moment to convince yourself nobody gives a shit anymore, and that moment always corresponds to when you want to go home. It's nice, in a way.
For you. Not so much, the ENTIRE GULF OF MEXICO AND EVERYONE LIVING NEAR IT.
This solipsistic asshole actually brings up the Iran hostage crisis, as if Ted Koppel would be Ted Koppel without having had the balls to stick to a story for a long goddamn time instead of wittering off whenever his bosses said they were tired of it. There are ALWAYS forces within and without a news organization telling people to get off stories they should stay on, and the greatest moments in American journalism have come when some courageous reporter says fuck you, I'm not leaving. You know, I read wanking day after day after day about the importance of the national press in framing our discourse and raising the critical issues of the day, and then I read shit like this, and nobody seems to understand you're supposed to be the wind and not the weatherman.
If you as a journalist believe a story's good enough to stick with, and you want people to pay attention, then you MAKE THEM PAY ATTENTION. You shove an issue in their faces day after day after day and you tell every caller who says he or she is just so tired of oily pelican pictures to shove it up their asses. You don't want to stop covering the story? THEN DON'T STOP COVERING IT JESUS GOD. Fuck your focus groups. Fuck the "jejune ennui" of the people you imagine don't care anymore and want to go back to American Idol. Fuck story fatigue. For once in your lives stick to the ideals you're always bagging on bloggers for not having.
Sack up, and stay with the story if you want to stay with it. Or don't, and at least have the courage to admit it wasn't the viewers' fault, that you just didn't wanna anymore.
x-posted at Tbogg.
These elite make the decisions. ALL the decisions. Do we still have to wonder at their response to the problems affecting Gulf Shore communities?
YES! President Obama! TAKE their money! Don't ask for it. TAKE IT!.
Give it to the Podunks.
But there's nothing in The Constitution that allows that, Fishgrease!
Fuck you! These assholes have destroyed the Gulf of Mexico and are in the process of destroying hundreds of communities, large and small along the Gulf Shore. You want to tell me we can't make them pay for it? I won't listen. The citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida won't listen. Republicans, Democrats and Independents won't listen. This is by far, the largest human and ecological disaster brought upon the United States of America by a single corporation and it is a corporation that just happens to have obscene quarterly profits. God Damn It they can pay! We can MAKE them pay! We just want small businesses to be paid before they go under. Not after. We can account later. In the end, nothing will be paid by BP they don't owe. Leave it up to BP and it will be too late for most folks. Closing a business is more expensive than starting one up. Family businesses that have lasted decades -- the domino effect on local economies. Who has a lot of money in reserve these days? I don't. Most people don't. BP does.
The only problem with class warfare is that we've been losing it for so long.
House Minority Leader John Boehner on This Week today said he's now in favor of lifting the cap on BP's liability in the Gulf oil spill. Though currently law makes BP responsible for cleaning up the actual oil, it limits its liability to $75 million. Senate Democrats have pushed to raise the cap to $10 billion or get rid of the cap entirely. Boehner now seems to be suggesting he's on board with the latter option but only in the case of BP and this spill, not in general going forward.
Right. Because it's only this election cycle we're really worried about. Look, as much as I'm for putting BP in the public stocks and letting people throw tar balls at its directors' heads, exactly how does it make sense to lift the cap this one time and this one time only?
Unprecedented disaster, yeah, yeah, but does anyone really think this is the last oil spill we're ever gonna have? Especially with most of our leadership going full metal pussy and refusing to take any of the world's very excellent suggestions to solve our energy problems so that no further drilling is necessary? Especially given our president's allergy to anything approaching accountability for the people whose policies led us to this in the first place? What happens during the next oil spill? Do we give that company, whichever one it is, an exception as well? What about the one after that?
Or do we just sack up and say the rule is bullshit and have done with it?
Either you think the liability cap is unfair and unconscionable, or you think it isn't. If it's unfair, screwing as it does the American taxpayer with the 14-inch dildo of capitalism while allowing the corporations a long, sensual massage, then it's unfair for every company, in every instance. But Boehner can't bring himself to actually say that (not even with a nicer metaphor) because his fellow Republicans will all begin the chorus of ZOMG SMALL BUSINESS TAXING US TOO MUCH FEDERAL REGULATION SMALL BUSINESS EVEN SMALLER BUSINESS JOE THE PLUMBER BLARGLE FLAP FLAP FLAP.
Instead he's just trying to stay out of the way of the angry villagers on their way to BP's front yard which, while an admirable strategy from the standpoint of personal safety, doesn't get the job done in the not being a completely horrible hypocrite loser department.
London Mayor Boris Johnson (on the left above with David Cameron) is a throwback. He's a bona fide, genuine toff with all the proper upper class credentials: Eton, Oxford, yadda, yadda, yadda. I can never quite decide whether Boris is a dimmer version of Evelyn Waugh or a brighter Bertie Wooster. It's quite easy to picture Boris and his old school chum and fellow posh boy Prime Minister David (Call me Dave) Cameron toddling off to the Drones club for a G and T with Bingo Little and Gussie Fink-Nottle. What ho, Boris. What ho, Dave.
Besides wearing an old school tie, Johnson is also an old school Tory. His pal the Prime Minister likes to present a centrist, green friendly facade to the world. Yesterday, Boris wandered off the coalition government reservation by denouncing President Obama for "anti-British rhetorice, buck passing and name-calling." Obama's real offense has been to finally toughen his rhetoric against the multi-national oil company responsible for the oiltastrophe, BP. We Yanks are pleased that Obama sounds more passionate but Boris and the right wing British media think Obama's ass kicking comment isn't cricket. That's why Boris Johnson, who is one of the whitest people on the planet, is malaka of the week. He's also bloody fun to mock in general.
Johnson's downright silly critique has led the right-wing UK press and Tory troglodytes to jump on the Obama bashing, pro-BP bandwagon. For his part, David Cameron is trying a difficult straddle: sympathizing with Obama and deploring the spill on the one hand while pandering to his base by whispering sweet nothings in BP's ear.
If there was ever that proverbial tempest in a tea cup this is it, which makes it a case study in malakatude. BP is a multi-national corporation that is bespoiling the Gulf Of Mexico including international waters. This has nothing to do with nationality whatsoever. It could just as easily be a multi-national oil company based in Saudi Arabia, Holland or the US and A. I don't think that the oily Pelicans and Sea Turtles consider themselves American, after all. They're just screwed as is the entire eco-system thanks to BP and its ilk.
Boris Johnson has always been known as a bomb thrower and loose cannon in his dual roles as a politician and right wing journalist. This bomb may well blow up in his chum the Prime Minister's face; at least I hope so. Of course, relations between British Conservative governments and Democratic administrations have been fraught for years. In 1992, the Tories helped Poppy Bush's minions root around in Bill Clinton's travel records and senior Democrats helped Labour secure its landslide victory in 1997. The sole recent exception came in 2004 when Tony Blair privately pulled for a Bush re-election fearing that Bush's ouster could lead to his own downfall. Blair was on his own: the rest of the Labour Party was pulling for John Kerry.
So, Boris, bugger off, shut the fuck up and remember that oil doesn't carry a frakking passport. I am, however, grateful to Boris for giving me an excuse to write about his toffishness and egregious malakatude.I'd also like to thank Boris for reminding folks what the Tories are really like: a bunch of Tony Hayward loving, budget cutting Thatcherites. Boris and his ilk deserve a proper handbagging but I can only give him a virtual one by dubbing him Sir Malaka.
What ho, readers.
Sorry, Mom. I know you don't like it when I say fuck so much but honestly, tell me a better word:
In layman's jargon, the 'clean up' may sound like it applies to everything but it doesn't. There's the physical removal of the oil and then there's liability for the damages the spill created -- like destroying property, killing certain fisheries, closing a port, etc. As you'd expect, there's probably an order of magnitude difference between the price tag for the first and the second. And that's what this all comes down to. No one disagrees that BP is on the line for the clean up. And the numbers tossed around for that job are in the billion or two billion range. The question is whether they have the liability for the damage. Under current law, their liability for the damages are capped at $75 million, in other words, virtually nothing compared to the true scale of the liability.
Um. FUCK NO. Did you hear me, in the back there? FUCK NO. Just wanted to make that clear. No way do they get off with $75 million. That's fucking pathetic. That's a complete and total insult to everyone who's ever fished a single meal out of the water now covered in sludge.
Now, I'd like $75 million, so that I could buy Barbados and just drink for the rest of my life, and it's a lot of money, for those purposes, but it's not a lot of money to BP. This is a company that, last year, made a $14 billion profit, in the worst economy in the last 70 years. Fourteen BILLION, and that's their profit. That's how much they have sitting around after all their expenses are paid. That's how much they have to roll around in, to swim in like Scrooge McFuckingDuck. So while $75 million might be my wildest dream come true, it's basically what BP spends every week on handjobs and blow.
No way, for ruining an entire coast, do they get off with $75 million. That video Adrastos put up a couple weeks back: Can you give me back my heritage? Can you give me back my profession, my identity, my bedrock? Can you give me back the way of life I've known, the only way of life I've ever known, the legacy I had planned to pass on to my children? Can your $75 million give me back the world I knew?
If not, well, then, it's not enough. And to those like John Fucking Boehner who want to mouth about the right of business to do as it pleases or whatever the fucking fuck he's on about right now, great American Galt-going or some shit, I say if they didn't want to pay bazillions in damages to everyone who's ever so much as breathed the air in the Gulf of Mexico, well, they shouldn't have drilled a fucking oil well there. God. It's not like we sent them down there and put guns to their heads and made them trash the place. They chose to do so, despite ample evidence they were doing it fast, cheap and out of control. This wasn't some act of God. There was black gold under the ocean floor and they wanted it and they wanted it right away. SO NOW THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR IT.
The reason these companies and their store-bought whores in Congress fight so hard for liability caps and limits on jury awards and all the other bullshit erected to keep pain from being inflicted upon them is that money is the only thing that matters to them. Money is the only consequence they care about. So far, the American public hasn't been focused enough on their fuckups to impose the kinds of consequences they would see in their balance sheets, but our national ADD notwithstanding, it will begin to sink in in Peoria how screwed we are and when people start looking for someone to blame, it would be downright mean not to offer them BP's corporate throat.
They have to be HURT. And I'm sorry if this is rude, or mean, or class warfare, or upsetting Boehner's tanning schedule, or whatever, but ... fuck it, I'm not sorry. Fuck BP. They deserve whatever whoopass Congress can dish out. And to any chickenass Democrats thinking about listening to Boehner, and that includes you, Mr. President, there is absolutely no way running on a platform of FUCK BP IN ITS EAR is a loser in the fall. Absolutely no way.
This is gonna be one of those elections where whoever bones corporate America hardest in the ass gets all the votes. I dunno if anybody in the White House has noticed, but the earth is caving in, economically speaking (and HELLMOUTH) and pretty much everybody's up for some aristocrat-beheading. (Symbolically, please; don't e-mail me.) You can either lead the mob with your own torch and pitchfork or get trampled by it as it runs by. Right now it's on the way to BP's castle gates. Trust me, you don't want it at yours.
Tar balls and crude oil "mousse" entered into Perdido Bay in northwest Florida on the border with Alabama late on Wednesday, prompting state and local officials to step up skimming operations before the gooey mess taints delicate spawning areas.
A variety of fish spawn there, including red snapper, grouper and speckled trout, and Alabama's primary oyster beds are in the same area as well.
Mike Sole, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, said the heavier concentrations -- in an area just west of the Florida tourist haven of Pensacola -- should continue over the next several days.
"We're going to continue to see this type of impact for the next 72 hours," Sole said on Thursday. "We really need to keep our attention on this."
The consistency of the oil, a cross between tar balls and fresh crude, has made collection difficult. Oil absorbing booms have been ineffective and skimmers have had difficulty picking up the toxic debris in the area of an inland waterway shared by both Florida and Alabama, according to local officials.
Spill clean-up and containment efforts and have been hampered by breakdowns in communication between local monitors, state officials and representatives of the Unified Command Center -- grouping BP Plc and Transocean Ltd with federal agencies -- in Mobile, Alabama, officials said.
In a story datelined, "UNDER THE MURKY DEPTHS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO," Matthews writes, "Some 40 miles out into the Gulf Of Mexico, I jump off the boat into the thickest patch of red oil I've ever seen. I open my eyes and realize my mask is already smeared. I can't see anything and we're just five seconds into the dive.
"Dropping beneath the surface the only thing I see is oil. To the left, right, up and down - it sits on top of the water in giant pools, and hangs suspended fifteen feet beneath the surface in softball sized blobs. There is nothing alive under the slick, although I see a dead jellyfish and handful of small bait fish."
Is this reporting or somethng [sic] of a publicity stunt? You decide.
Just fucking shoot me. A publicity stunt. Yeah, sure. It would probably be irresponsible not to speculate he did this all for the attention he's gonna get from coating himself in slime. I know I want to hit it now.
Could the argument be made the information gathered on a scuba excursion isn't the most groundbreaking news a reporter could have done? Sure. I wouldn't say the AP should do this Geraldo shit and not do any other stories. But at a time when BP is going out of its way to deny every possible ramification of its fuckup, chasing off journalists and staging cleanup for the president and generally saying "nothing to see here" there's incredible value in SHOWING people that yes, we really are that screwed.
Via reader DN on Facebook.
President Obama is under fierce pressure from Louisiana pols to lift the deep water drilling moratorium. There's fresh evidence that the moratorium is needed. That's right, there's another leaky rig:
Hat Tip: Steve Picou at NOLAmotion.
The Deepwater Horizon is not the only well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the last month. A nearby drilling rig, the Ocean Saratoga, has been leaking since at least April 30, according to a federal document.
While the leak is decidedly smaller than the Deepwater Horizon spill, a 10-mile-long slick emanating from the Ocean Saratoga is visible from space in multiple images gathered by Skytruth.org, which monitors environmental problems using satellites.
Federal officials did not immediately respond when asked about the size of the leak, how long it had been flowing, or whether it was possible to plug it.
Skytruth first reported the leak on its website on May 15. Federal officials mentioned it in the May 1 trajectory map for the Deepwater Horizon spill, stating that oil from the Ocean Saratoga spill might also be washing ashore in Louisiana.
This suggestion, from the comments, has some merit:
Although the Boston Globe once again proves how awesome they are this just points out one of the many travesties of this disaster. But hey if it works print it. Print them and paste them at gas stations. Hand them out at the office. Put them on your neighbors windows.
A billboard behind every BP station. For the next ten years. With the picture of that pelican.
BP is up to its neck in oil and lies. Not only does BP CEO Tony Hayward lie incessantly he does so in a manner that suggests he believes he can spin his way out of trouble. It's all bad PR as far he's concerned. Here are two more examples of BP spin about the oiltastrophe:
(There was a tie at press time between Maddow and LaDonna and I figured after the week our girl had last week on Treme, she needed the Pelican more.)
I really can't emphasize enough how hard you all rocked this project. Usually when we do something like this I try to send everybody who donated an e-mail. This time, around the second day it became a positive blizzard of donations, as small as $2, as large as $100, and the e-mail got away from me completely. But know that each of you is a part of this, and a small part of the enormous effort going on to safeguard and clean up the Gulf.
You're good people. I'm proud to know you.
You know, this isn't a big blog. I don't know how we're measuring our e-penis in blogtopia lately because I don't care about that shit, but by any standard you choose, this isn't a big blog. We can't change the course of history with just one post, or even with a whole bunch of posts, and the way I know that is that David Brooks is still employed.
However, what we do have is a bunch of people who put their time and money and voices and backs into stuff they care about. You're not content just to complain about something. You want to fix it. You hear a tale of woe — about journalism, about soldiers, about the Gulf — and instead of spending three hours coming up with a way to shield your fragile sensibilities from giving a shit, you look around for something to DO.
People, in seven days we raised $1,200 for the International Bird Rescue Center. We raised enough money through the blog to adopt six pelicans, and readers told us they sent in enough money for another three. That's money going to identify and rescue and clean pelicans and gannets and herons and whatever else that ends up stuck in the waste.
The need in the Gulf right now is enormous and what's more, it's going to be worse in the months to come. People who fished for a living are going to be out of work. People who ran hotels and restaurants are going to be out of work. The evidence of BP's colossal disaster is going to be washing up on shore for a long damn time, and the fallout will last longer than that. I seriously doubt this is the only action we'll be asking people to take.
But for this, for everything you've given over the last week for no other reason than that you needed to do something to help and this presented itself, for this thing right now, thank you all.
And now we have some pelicans to name!
As of last night, we had just more than $900 in the Paypal for the International Bird Rescue Center.
Yeah. NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS.
A couple of you wrote in to say you'd sent checks directly to the bird rescue center, bringing our Pelican total to seven and a half!
You guys are amazing. Thank you to everybody who's contributed. If you haven't yet kicked in, doooo eeet. And suggest names for our pelicans in the comments!